In June 1943, thirteen-year-old Thomas Geve and his mother were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Separated upon arrival, he was left to fend for himself in the men’s camp of Auschwitz I. During 22 harsh months in Auschwitz, Gross-Rosen, and Buchenwald, Thomas experienced the worst of Nazi cruelty—but he never gave up the will to live.
Immediately after liberation, Thomas created more than 80 drawings documenting life around him. Rendered in simple yet poignant detail, the drawings reflect day-to-day life in the camps at the same time as they reveal the shared humanity between Thomas and other prisoners.
In this program about Thomas, now 92 years old, his daughter Yifat Cohn-Meir discusses Thomas’s story and drawings, and journalist Charlie Inglefield discussed the process of writing the book The Boy Who Drew Auschwitz: A Powerful True Story of Hope and Survival. The program also features recordings of Thomas telling his story in his own words.
Watch the program below.
Recording transcript for The Boy Who Drew Auschwitz: Thomas Geve
This program’s original recording transcript is below. This transcription was created automatically during a live program so may contain inaccurate transcriptions of some words.
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): Hi everyone, my name is Sydney Yaeger and i'm the public programs coordinator at the Museum of Jewish heritage, a living memorial to the Holocaust.
00:01:19.440 --> 00:01:29.010
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): Now, in its 24th year the museum is committed to the crucial mission of educating our diverse community about Jewish life and heritage, before, during and after the Holocaust.
00:01:29.400 --> 00:01:39.360
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): As part of that mission our programs are meant to illuminate the stories of survivors broader histories of hate and anti semitism through time and stories of resistance against injustice.
00:01:39.960 --> 00:01:46.290
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): Today, we will be discussing the book the boy who drew Auschwitz a powerful true story of hope and survival.
00:01:46.950 --> 00:02:02.880
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): The boy who drew outfits tells the story of Thomas give a 92 year old Holocaust survivor from Germany in June 1943 13 year old Thomas and his mother were deported to Auschwitz Birkenau separated upon arrival, he was left to fend for himself in the men's camp of Auschwitz one.
00:02:03.990 --> 00:02:12.300
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): During 22 harsh months in Auschwitz gross frozen and involved Thomas to experience the worst of Nazi cruelty, but he never gave up the will to live.
00:02:13.200 --> 00:02:18.060
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): Immediately after liberation Thomas created more than 80 drawings documenting life around him.
00:02:18.480 --> 00:02:28.260
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): rendered and simple yet poignant detail the drawings reflect day to day life and the camps, at the same time as they reveal to share the shared humanity between Thomas and the other prisoners.
00:02:28.920 --> 00:02:35.670
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): we're honored to be joined by Thomas his daughter you thought con near and journalist Charlie angle field who wrote the book with Thomas.
00:02:36.150 --> 00:02:46.290
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): Throughout today's program please feel free to put questions in the zoom Q amp a chat and we will get to as many as we can, at the end of the hour Thank you so much for joining us and i'm now going to pass things over to you.
00:02:47.970 --> 00:02:48.510
Yifat Cohn-Meir: hi.
00:02:48.540 --> 00:02:49.650
Yifat Cohn-Meir: hi everyone very.
00:02:49.650 --> 00:02:52.560
Yifat Cohn-Meir: exciting to be here and thank you for joining us.
00:02:54.570 --> 00:03:09.930
Yifat Cohn-Meir: i'm sorry that Thomas is not with us physically, but he will join us through his recordings talking about his testimony so he would be kind of participating with us, and I think we just start, and we have some time in the end to.
00:03:11.280 --> 00:03:14.880
Yifat Cohn-Meir: To speak a little bit more Okay, so I do the share.
00:03:33.660 --> 00:03:34.320
00:03:35.790 --> 00:03:36.360
00:03:38.820 --> 00:03:41.340
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Can you see now one the front page.
00:03:42.900 --> 00:03:44.700
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): Yes, okay.
00:03:47.610 --> 00:03:49.740
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Okay, so um and.
00:03:51.360 --> 00:03:54.240
Yifat Cohn-Meir: This is Thomas testimony the boy do i'll show it's.
00:03:55.650 --> 00:03:56.700
Yifat Cohn-Meir: A testimony of.
00:03:57.930 --> 00:03:59.940
Yifat Cohn-Meir: unique life story through.
00:04:01.050 --> 00:04:03.300
Yifat Cohn-Meir: The time of Second World War.
00:04:08.310 --> 00:04:18.990
Yifat Cohn-Meir: And I just say the Thomas is a synonym to my father chose after the war, to allow him to leave on his life i'll talk a little bit more about that.
00:04:20.100 --> 00:04:38.310
Yifat Cohn-Meir: But Thomas was born in shuttin in those times with Germany later now nowadays is Poland for us to be Germany first boy firstborn boy to his parents betta and Eric you can see them here, I hope you can see my the arrow and.
00:04:39.810 --> 00:04:48.450
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Eric was a doctor and he was also grant grant son of a doctor that his father was also a doctor and he was born.
00:04:50.280 --> 00:04:55.080
Yifat Cohn-Meir: 1929 end of 1921 October actually 1929.
00:04:56.730 --> 00:05:01.500
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Life started as happy regular happy life boy young boy.
00:05:02.700 --> 00:05:06.360
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Nice happy childhood busy with the family.
00:05:08.070 --> 00:05:20.820
Yifat Cohn-Meir: living in Germany as a Jew, and that this age of course didn't mean much but later on life started on those years, started to change dramatically to all Jewish citizens of Germany.
00:05:22.740 --> 00:05:32.760
Yifat Cohn-Meir: In 1933 one of the change it after the, of course, the rise of Nazi regime lots of new rules came in restrictions and one of them.
00:05:34.380 --> 00:05:50.430
Yifat Cohn-Meir: The family wasn't sure chain, as I mentioned, but because of the changes and Thomas father's a doctor could not work anymore, and the public places and they had to move back to his hometown which was boynton Boyden was on the border of Poland.
00:05:51.720 --> 00:06:02.100
Yifat Cohn-Meir: And every every detail i'm saying about Thomas childhood now would be kind of significant to His story later, so he spent a few years in boynton.
00:06:03.720 --> 00:06:05.820
Yifat Cohn-Meir: growing up happy child.
00:06:07.020 --> 00:06:17.580
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Very connected to nature that also will play a role later in his life connected to his arm through an auntie Emma and they teach and quite a lot about life.
00:06:19.980 --> 00:06:25.410
Yifat Cohn-Meir: boy, you really as you see, on top here has a lot of very good technical.
00:06:28.230 --> 00:06:30.210
Yifat Cohn-Meir: sense, he loves.
00:06:31.230 --> 00:06:36.990
Yifat Cohn-Meir: machines and he's fascinated with more than more than more than life.
00:06:38.550 --> 00:06:41.820
Yifat Cohn-Meir: That he started to very curious about life.
00:06:43.170 --> 00:06:55.920
Yifat Cohn-Meir: and on those years, as I said, life start to change more dramatically as Jews, he started his first year we see him here and boys, in the first year day of school very typical.
00:06:57.720 --> 00:07:09.810
Yifat Cohn-Meir: thing that they had those cones of candies with his mother here, we seem like a happy naughty boy are pulling it, we found that in this photo putting it year of his friend.
00:07:10.770 --> 00:07:18.360
Yifat Cohn-Meir: He didn't get to go many years to school, but that was a very exciting years of beginning of.
00:07:19.050 --> 00:07:31.110
Yifat Cohn-Meir: school years 1938 very huge change and one of the most dramatic scene was in November 1938 Christina night of the broken glasses.
00:07:31.830 --> 00:07:54.210
Yifat Cohn-Meir: were many Jews that were kind of optimistic that things can go worse and the probably people kind of wake up on time and stop this craziness of Nazism that didn't happen and 1938 decrease enough prove them that they don't have any future in Germany, they must save their lives.
00:07:55.230 --> 00:08:00.570
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Thomas father, being a doctor and the men were at risk, more than others, so.
00:08:01.650 --> 00:08:07.830
Yifat Cohn-Meir: He tried really to pull the family out to find a place to immigrate to to it's very hard in those years to immigrate.
00:08:09.030 --> 00:08:19.140
Yifat Cohn-Meir: They didn't manage to do that as a family, but his father managed to get a certificate to get into England, as a doctor and a 1939.
00:08:20.250 --> 00:08:41.400
Yifat Cohn-Meir: The family splitting Thomas father is moving to England and the plan was that he will draw his Thomas and his mother as soon as possible, later, but he lives in in a summer of 69 in September war war two is breaking out and the borders are shut and Thomas and his mother are.
00:08:42.420 --> 00:08:44.280
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Left to stay in Berlin.
00:08:45.720 --> 00:08:48.780
Yifat Cohn-Meir: And life in Berlin is getting more and more.
00:08:49.950 --> 00:08:51.240
Yifat Cohn-Meir: dangerous and.
00:08:53.340 --> 00:09:03.120
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Challenging being a Jew, and more and more Jews are moving out with disappearing or send out to other to the east, Thomas.
00:09:04.620 --> 00:09:23.310
Yifat Cohn-Meir: In the schools with the Jewish schools are locked and closed there's an option, the Jewish community gives an option to the youngsters to choose some Community work and tell us is choosing to work in a cemetery is a Jewish cemetery and vibrancy.
00:09:24.630 --> 00:09:28.500
Yifat Cohn-Meir: The quite a lot of teenagers in the beginning, and they mainly.
00:09:30.060 --> 00:09:50.340
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Were gardening and helping around he was just 12 then so he can help with boot burying people, but he helped around and where, as time went forward more and more of those young people disappeared moved out or going to send also the the grown ups were lesson, so the of them.
00:09:51.420 --> 00:10:00.240
Yifat Cohn-Meir: There was one time that him and his mother were caught and you know that starts to collect the Jews and send them to the east, and they were called as well.
00:10:01.590 --> 00:10:02.490
Yifat Cohn-Meir: But Thomas was.
00:10:04.320 --> 00:10:17.310
Yifat Cohn-Meir: kind of bravely finding a solution, and he he went and offered him self to work in the cemetery he said it people who had jobs that there were.
00:10:18.570 --> 00:10:21.270
Yifat Cohn-Meir: needed somewhere they had more.
00:10:22.440 --> 00:10:22.860
Yifat Cohn-Meir: kind of.
00:10:24.780 --> 00:10:37.110
Yifat Cohn-Meir: option to stay in it with more in Berlin, so he persuaded the official people that he can help he could work in the cemetery and his mother was working in different works in all sorts of.
00:10:39.180 --> 00:10:48.630
Yifat Cohn-Meir: factories and also needed work, so he persuaded them that they let them go, so they went back to Berlin out to to be free in Berlin.
00:10:49.170 --> 00:11:03.120
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Under restrictions, of course, but for almost almost another year, so it was by June 43 that time became so hard, I mean they could not support themselves anymore cannot hide anymore.
00:11:04.380 --> 00:11:11.460
Yifat Cohn-Meir: When more and more tough to stay there as Jews and dangerous as well, so they decided to.
00:11:13.620 --> 00:11:22.560
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Hand themselves to the authorities, hoping that the move to the East would be they knew that people were there to work, so how.
00:11:22.920 --> 00:11:36.300
Yifat Cohn-Meir: How harder, it could be, there were used to hard work and they really hope that moving to the east, would be a better solution for that, so it was June 43 when Thomas and his mother was.
00:11:38.400 --> 00:11:39.030
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Put in the.
00:11:41.430 --> 00:11:42.360
Yifat Cohn-Meir: In Berlin.
00:11:44.790 --> 00:11:56.370
Yifat Cohn-Meir: The detention camp in Gloucester humble this word world his former school was in the cemetery was around there, and there was sent with one of the last transport transport from Berlin number 39.
00:11:57.690 --> 00:12:06.450
Yifat Cohn-Meir: To the feast as Father knew but arriving to the gates of Auschwitz be okay now.
00:12:08.730 --> 00:12:11.790
Yifat Cohn-Meir: So the time is June 43 and.
00:12:12.960 --> 00:12:25.440
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Thomas is arriving to Auschwitz here, we see the journey from now on, the next two years, we will see a story through his drawings and as it was mentioned in the beginning.
00:12:26.640 --> 00:12:34.230
Yifat Cohn-Meir: I will briefly go through the times within those next 22 months Thomas was spent 19 months in Auschwitz.
00:12:35.820 --> 00:12:38.220
Yifat Cohn-Meir: outfits one men camp Auschwitz one.
00:12:39.540 --> 00:13:00.120
Yifat Cohn-Meir: And then he moved do the math of the death March and sent to go frozen for a short while, and then again to be humbled is liberated in April 45 when booth and vote is liberated and stay there for another two months to recover and in that time that's where he he's doing.
00:13:01.650 --> 00:13:10.200
Yifat Cohn-Meir: The drawings we're going to see now on top of postcards left on the SS quarters, with some colors he got from.
00:13:11.460 --> 00:13:16.380
Yifat Cohn-Meir: inmates and soldiers American soldiers and he draws.
00:13:18.000 --> 00:13:22.350
Yifat Cohn-Meir: A set of over at joins kind of miniature joins.
00:13:23.700 --> 00:13:33.150
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Actually, a combination of sketch sketches lists lyrics of songs and mainly scenarios of life, Thomas is choosing.
00:13:33.630 --> 00:13:41.490
Yifat Cohn-Meir: To describe life as he experienced and his friends experience in Camp his main motivation was to.
00:13:42.210 --> 00:13:55.380
Yifat Cohn-Meir: show his father, hopefully his parents after the war, what he's been through and his friends have been through that wasn't motivation to do this, joining, so now we didn't we go into Thomas word of joints.
00:13:56.910 --> 00:13:58.080
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Here we see the gates of.
00:13:59.640 --> 00:14:06.990
Yifat Cohn-Meir: have broken out actually when Thomas arrived in June 43 arrival was outside of the gates.
00:14:08.520 --> 00:14:15.510
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Later, it was the old ramp later train started to go inwards inside the camp.
00:14:16.950 --> 00:14:24.780
Yifat Cohn-Meir: But that was like out in the fields, and we can see that's the real games nowadays, and we can see.
00:14:25.830 --> 00:14:48.390
Yifat Cohn-Meir: How i'm loyal Thomas was for the troops for reality around him the combination of his technical skills he's observed observance to details his curiosity his understanding by now for so many years, living in Berlin, mostly on his own like lots of strict wisdom, he collected on those years.
00:14:49.410 --> 00:14:59.700
Yifat Cohn-Meir: being used to be around Nazis soldiers that was very kind of helpful when he arrived to Auschwitz to this new unknown world.
00:15:02.460 --> 00:15:03.930
Yifat Cohn-Meir: So we can see that.
00:15:05.760 --> 00:15:09.630
Yifat Cohn-Meir: The details was very vivid in his mind when you do those drawings.
00:15:12.240 --> 00:15:31.110
Yifat Cohn-Meir: This is the first scene at the driver and we can hear now I hope you can hear, let me know if you don't hear that, but you will hear Thomas explaining she thinks about this joins and you can follow the arrow I will show the parties he's talking about.
00:15:34.050 --> 00:15:43.650
yeah the rival, that is the most historic picture I could ever imagine how people arrived and sorted out who is being killed the same date.
00:15:43.890 --> 00:15:55.530
Children and invalids in the middle, as you see women for work on the top in the middle of women and invalids and on the bottom man sorted out by assessment as arrived.
00:15:55.830 --> 00:16:08.880
And, of course, all the luggage, which you brought along as you see, historically, are left in the wagons and they never saw them again this picture was recognized and i'm very proud of it at the Auschwitz museum and.
00:16:14.970 --> 00:16:18.210
Yifat Cohn-Meir: yeah the rival that i'm sorry.
00:16:21.000 --> 00:16:32.970
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Okay, I think it's a bit cut, for some reason, the text but i'm Thomas has just started to say that the in nowadays in the museum the Jewish.
00:16:34.110 --> 00:16:35.610
Yifat Cohn-Meir: The Jewish block.
00:16:36.660 --> 00:16:37.980
Yifat Cohn-Meir: You can see this drawing.
00:16:39.300 --> 00:16:48.540
Yifat Cohn-Meir: script on the walls in the memorial where they did or join some of children that were found after the war and Thomas joining is there as well.
00:16:49.800 --> 00:16:55.290
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Thomas call this joining the saddest scenario of more than life, and I think he's quite right.
00:16:59.700 --> 00:17:11.880
Yifat Cohn-Meir: This drawing Thomas shows us the process of becoming a prisoner Here we see a citizen coming with the hat and stick in the bed with this colored clothing a citizen.
00:17:13.860 --> 00:17:24.480
Yifat Cohn-Meir: We know that over around 1.6 million people arrived to Auschwitz, and about 4407 of them more or less where.
00:17:25.770 --> 00:17:44.820
Yifat Cohn-Meir: we're registered to work or not we're not killing a driver and whoever we're kind of lucky to be there to be alive in the beginning, they went through this process of becoming a prisoner so first first time first block or station.
00:17:46.530 --> 00:17:49.920
Yifat Cohn-Meir: clothes are taken off later to be sent back to Germany.
00:17:51.120 --> 00:17:54.990
Yifat Cohn-Meir: To help the citizen, they were just sent all those clothes, shoes.
00:17:56.280 --> 00:17:57.750
Yifat Cohn-Meir: were sent back to Germany.
00:17:58.950 --> 00:18:04.980
Yifat Cohn-Meir: yeah people are shaved both for all pair around your body hair.
00:18:06.450 --> 00:18:10.440
Yifat Cohn-Meir: We can say, maybe this this the motivation behind that was mainly for.
00:18:11.580 --> 00:18:12.630
Yifat Cohn-Meir: sanitation.
00:18:13.740 --> 00:18:32.190
Yifat Cohn-Meir: But we also know that you know, taking off your hair and losing your hair had hair also had the meaning of really taking off your dignity and your abilities and your your feeling of self in a way, and that was part of the program of kind of illuminating people's identity.
00:18:33.870 --> 00:18:35.970
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Here we see there's this this infection.
00:18:37.620 --> 00:18:41.010
Yifat Cohn-Meir: And then the showers and receiving uniform.
00:18:42.780 --> 00:18:50.490
Yifat Cohn-Meir: And then the tattooing only people who were on the people who were selected to work got those two tools.
00:18:52.200 --> 00:18:59.040
Yifat Cohn-Meir: And then registration was when all the the Germans, the Nazis were really restrict was registration everything's very set.
00:18:59.610 --> 00:19:12.180
Yifat Cohn-Meir: later when they left alfred's he burned all those documents, but in the beginning, everything was really documented and now you out with that process becoming a prisoner now Thomas went through this process and there's two points.
00:19:13.590 --> 00:19:34.620
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Three things are happening that point that just to tell you a little stories, of course, reading the book and we'll explore lots of what happened in those hours, but one thing as he's armed is to to Thomas is looking at the digits of the number he got his number was one to 703.
00:19:35.700 --> 00:19:47.070
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Being a technical guy he immediately kind of connected the digits and he gets to the number of 13 they add up to be 13 and he wonders well, whether that be good luck.
00:19:48.690 --> 00:19:55.860
Yifat Cohn-Meir: And another point that the guy who did this to to the we're not allowed all the prison all this process with them by prisoners is was.
00:19:59.190 --> 00:20:12.330
Yifat Cohn-Meir: The SS guy was just watching everything but the prisoner did everything there was not much direct connection between the SS officers and the prisoners, but they were not allowed to talk to them that was part of the horrified.
00:20:13.410 --> 00:20:23.040
Yifat Cohn-Meir: process that no speaking, but at that point that the tourists was quite young person and he was looking at the Thomas and he kind of blessed him to say good luck to you.
00:20:23.580 --> 00:20:38.100
Yifat Cohn-Meir: And that was very unusual thing to do, and gave lots of strength to tell us at that point, Thomas start to figure out the only men around in older men and he's just young being 13 he was just 13.
00:20:39.120 --> 00:20:47.460
Yifat Cohn-Meir: And he noticed that so he's 40 would be really brave and save himself, so he went to one of the German officers so.
00:20:48.090 --> 00:21:02.190
Yifat Cohn-Meir: He kind of pulled himself up and very strictly said, you know, excuse me, Sir, but I think you make a mistake here i'm just boy i'm not supposed to be here with the men, please send me where are the camp of the Board went where the boys are.
00:21:03.240 --> 00:21:05.460
Yifat Cohn-Meir: And that officer looked at him and says.
00:21:07.020 --> 00:21:12.210
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Go back where we came from, and one day, you will be thankful I didn't do that.
00:21:13.710 --> 00:21:17.640
Yifat Cohn-Meir: It took about 24 hours later, to understand.
00:21:18.660 --> 00:21:35.010
Yifat Cohn-Meir: The real truth about the camp where where he arrived to and 24 hours later, Thomas understand there's no camp for children, no camp for elderly and all counter disabled people and he is kind of lucky to be with men at that point.
00:21:37.470 --> 00:21:48.630
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Here we see some of Thomas joins our lists, he was listening things some from his memory and Sam from documents that were found later on in the asus COM offices.
00:21:49.650 --> 00:21:56.340
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Here we see a list of cattle alfred's camps, the first one, so I think hope you don't see.
00:21:58.290 --> 00:22:12.300
Yifat Cohn-Meir: The first one is Auschwitz one later it was called i'll show you later on it, it was changed to Auschwitz one, two and three, but there's Thomas arrival it's Auschwitz that's the men camps about 18,000 men.
00:22:12.930 --> 00:22:29.310
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Birkenau Buena and other satellite camps that actually after a year later they'll all one big complex of Auschwitz and spider's web it's impression that one of the prisoners will explain them all that.
00:22:30.360 --> 00:22:32.070
Yifat Cohn-Meir: You gave that presence by the.
00:22:34.200 --> 00:22:51.960
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Self Thomas joins a maps very, very accurate map some from his memory some from documents and some from help from people who were in those camps, so he was CMO happy Juba of Auschwitz, one that bought blocks and everything and the next.
00:22:53.130 --> 00:22:56.370
Yifat Cohn-Meir: postcard was just an explanation of the drawing.
00:22:58.650 --> 00:23:00.870
Yifat Cohn-Meir: On arrival to Africa one.
00:23:02.130 --> 00:23:12.420
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Men camp out at one first month is quarantine and that time he connect with other three as a youngsters, all of them.
00:23:13.950 --> 00:23:24.600
Yifat Cohn-Meir: All of them over 15 but young compared to the others and German from Berlin as well, and those for the quarters Quartet.
00:23:25.170 --> 00:23:37.320
Yifat Cohn-Meir: The bond together and they set upon to help each other all the way through, and together they decide that they want to ask to be part of a very unique project for the youth it's called the bricklaying school.
00:23:38.250 --> 00:23:47.790
Yifat Cohn-Meir: And this is a brick thing school draw they told us, and that was a very special project meant to help the youngsters give them a profession to help.
00:23:49.440 --> 00:23:50.040
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Building.
00:23:51.210 --> 00:24:01.770
Yifat Cohn-Meir: And that was the idea was came from another prisoner many years before in other camps, but after he had one too So here we can hear Thomas talking about.
00:24:03.840 --> 00:24:15.480
yeah that's a bricklaying school, and that was an invention, there were about 200 children were taught to to lay bricks and that saved their lives because they were of shield shelter that easier work and that.
00:24:16.050 --> 00:24:24.000
I was received there, I was a third youngest at that time, most of the other boys were seasoned Russians.
00:24:26.850 --> 00:24:41.010
Yifat Cohn-Meir: boys from all over Europe out were collected together and Thomas described in his testimony the difference between the towel time on life to the youth was unique and different from the grown ups.
00:24:42.120 --> 00:24:54.330
Yifat Cohn-Meir: In some metal, it was the same Summit was very different, but the testimony is very focusing about what happened to the youth and how they live together, I went through all that.
00:24:56.280 --> 00:25:05.460
Yifat Cohn-Meir: horrible horrible life together, and this is makes this testimony very unique to the younger generation because it's focused in the eyes of a teenager.
00:25:05.940 --> 00:25:18.900
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Talking about other teenagers from around the world how they coped in different ways of coping as well as grown ups yeah that's a brick lane schooling Thomas being a bricklayer yeah that's.
00:25:20.040 --> 00:25:26.610
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Being a bricklayer that's a brick allowed wiggling school, and that was a that's a brick link scoops we allowed him.
00:25:28.650 --> 00:25:45.120
Yifat Cohn-Meir: To go around here, he draws like the will of work wheel of life and how the work as bricklayers different things they did as bricklayers now being a bricklayer was a unique job because most prisoners went to one specific job and they did that most of their time.
00:25:47.160 --> 00:25:57.960
Yifat Cohn-Meir: By the way, the life expectancy of life of a prisoner was about three to six months that's it and Thomas were there for much longer 22 months is very long for prisoner.
00:25:58.560 --> 00:26:10.920
Yifat Cohn-Meir: And so, he was there for a long time to see lots of things, but being a bricklayer allow him to move around, sometimes out of the camp sometimes the inside the camp meeting in different group work.
00:26:11.760 --> 00:26:19.140
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Allowing to meet different various people also civilian sometimes so get that gave his broad.
00:26:20.070 --> 00:26:28.170
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Information and that another thing that makes this testimony you need to because he saw a lot of things he experienced a lot of things and places and people.
00:26:28.740 --> 00:26:39.060
Yifat Cohn-Meir: And all that is describing his testimony Here we see a daily routine daily life as a worker, we talked over the wake up at six o'clock and.
00:26:39.480 --> 00:26:59.160
Yifat Cohn-Meir: They worked at six o'clock six o'clock in the morning to six o'clock in the evening was one hour break for kind of lunch and then settling or two lights off and nighttime and 11 hours harbor Labor work day.
00:27:00.750 --> 00:27:13.500
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Another list we see here of different working groups that they weren't outreach one Thomas was participating few of them as smaller the group was there was a bit better because usually just have.
00:27:15.720 --> 00:27:20.250
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Less people and less guarding of the SS and more prisoners guarding, which was a bit better.
00:27:21.270 --> 00:27:28.380
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Here we see the hierarchy of prisoners, as I said in Auschwitz, most of daily life was.
00:27:29.910 --> 00:27:40.530
Yifat Cohn-Meir: handled by prisoners in hierarchy different couples couples block elders and so on, and the esca SS got one more outside.
00:27:41.550 --> 00:27:48.690
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Jews were not allowed to an illustrious one to those works at the maximum and you could be was working commander.
00:27:51.990 --> 00:27:55.710
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Here is with the roll call and I let him speak here as well.
00:27:59.730 --> 00:28:12.810
And this is very warm to my heart, because it shows all my comrades fellow prisoners lined up at night, why, if somebody was missing, we had to stand for hours to they found out he may have.
00:28:13.500 --> 00:28:19.350
fallen asleep, he may or may have died somewhere or we don't know so we had to stand there.
00:28:19.950 --> 00:28:23.460
And, of course, people say you see the block elder in blue yes.
00:28:23.760 --> 00:28:38.580
And then you see the SS man and people say yes, I drew them big because I was afraid of the SS I was afraid some assessment were smaller I was taller than some of the assessment anyhow, so I wanted to show his equipment his boots.
00:28:38.970 --> 00:28:46.290
Is revolvers stickers CAP, and all this, I wanted to show how it was the camp god's is as god's.
00:28:50.160 --> 00:28:59.970
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Here we see the vermin that different disease ahead of the government sorry there's another drawing we don't see here, but by the diseases, but the firm itself was a very.
00:29:01.590 --> 00:29:08.880
Yifat Cohn-Meir: problematic things in such a tight place so many people and very tight place that was very dangerous to get those.
00:29:11.190 --> 00:29:24.780
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Here we see a really list Thomas, as we said very technical guy he list, what exactly exactly what they eat here, he compare the live in Auschwitz, and then book in.
00:29:26.010 --> 00:29:26.820
Yifat Cohn-Meir: A daily.
00:29:29.940 --> 00:29:36.630
Yifat Cohn-Meir: daily food, the amount of food ration the innovations in each day exactly what they eat will see.
00:29:37.530 --> 00:29:46.530
Yifat Cohn-Meir: We have one liter of soup about 30 350 grams of bread analysis it's less even less in brooklyn bird later.
00:29:47.400 --> 00:29:54.660
Yifat Cohn-Meir: A little bit of monitoring and some days they get a little bit of jam twice a week a little bit of of of sausage.
00:29:55.140 --> 00:30:06.000
Yifat Cohn-Meir: And the amount, as mentioned before, was not people were not expected to live long on that amount, and of course to survive, they had to organize a little bit more food.
00:30:06.630 --> 00:30:17.010
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Here we see the delivery food, it was cooking for so many people was, of course, they could not provide real good food and when we say soup, it was mainly water.
00:30:17.310 --> 00:30:34.770
Yifat Cohn-Meir: was sometimes a bit of vegetables in it, and sometimes even things like shoes and seeing their or not edible in normal life but anything to put some kind of nutrition was useful and in winter times people used to eat the snow and that was quite nutritious as well.
00:30:36.270 --> 00:30:44.040
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Here we see how people had to organize extra food that was really a main thing to survive anything from peers of.
00:30:45.090 --> 00:31:00.330
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Appeals of vegetables found in the garbage or rotten cabbage or food for the holes or rotten food anything anything would be good enough to attrition little bit more than this, the little food they had.
00:31:02.460 --> 00:31:04.830
Yifat Cohn-Meir: He was in a selection that Tom speak here.
00:31:06.420 --> 00:31:12.060
This is the most dangerous situation twice a year they had to select to.
00:31:13.170 --> 00:31:25.050
That didn't matter there, whether we are Jewish keeps the Russian or Christian German or Polish Christian didn't matter what orange and you were you had to run naked.
00:31:25.380 --> 00:31:33.540
And now it's very interesting historical if you had any wounds on the curb or from working with bricks and maybe wounds or any.
00:31:34.650 --> 00:31:46.260
exams or any other of your limbs, or you didn't walk walk around and even what is historically important people don't know that even if you wore glasses on your head, you were sorted out.
00:31:47.010 --> 00:32:07.140
To to be killed and here, as you see, these people don't walk home they run home because afraid the assessment may open the door and says you little guy come back again how old, are you they could do that because that's a very dangerous situation, I went through about three of these situations.
00:32:09.420 --> 00:32:26.280
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Okay i've partnered with mostly after project i'll kind of go quickly through the rest, so we can have, I see the time here, so I go briefly through a few more drawings and let Thomas speak about you more so we set the time So here we see dangerous main dangerous.
00:32:27.630 --> 00:32:29.400
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Life in the camp.
00:32:30.540 --> 00:32:46.530
Yifat Cohn-Meir: see that that's the most the strongest color Thomas us to those things that a prisoner has to be very careful about so we see the crematorium, of course, the illnesses and diseases disease punishment and the bunker.
00:32:48.450 --> 00:32:48.690
Yifat Cohn-Meir: and
00:32:51.030 --> 00:32:59.670
Yifat Cohn-Meir: here just to show Thomas testimony is he says i'm like I was like a journalist going around the cam describing all life.
00:33:00.180 --> 00:33:08.100
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Not not much of his personal experience, but around him so Thomas mentioned a lot of different fears prisoners here we'll see drawing.
00:33:08.430 --> 00:33:19.620
Yifat Cohn-Meir: mentioning the gypsies as a lot about Thomas was very friendly with the gypsies he talks a lot about them describe a lot about their expenses and cam the Jehovah witness.
00:33:20.640 --> 00:33:33.570
Yifat Cohn-Meir: and others mentioning prisoners from around Europe not only Jews in Auschwitz one, the percentage of Jews was very small actually sometimes less than 20% even sometimes less than 10% us.
00:33:34.830 --> 00:33:40.650
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Of course, other campuses with percentage was different but Jews were many cute as arrival at arrival.
00:33:42.060 --> 00:33:55.050
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Thomas mentioned all the different presenters around him, he was see another kind of joins some of his drawings and lyrics of songs that prisoners used to sing now the world of music is music was very significant to Thomas.
00:33:55.830 --> 00:34:10.290
Yifat Cohn-Meir: As as encouraging as even through opposing sometimes reminding them of normality of life and rising their spirits up and others and lots of that in the story as well.
00:34:12.810 --> 00:34:33.960
Yifat Cohn-Meir: The ABC just some ABC of life in what was the main words that accompany life in the camp and we see here that's a Thomas say oh I don't like this drone is very child is, but we do see Thomas was a boy, he was very young, and that was his way to show his last through the alphabet of life.
00:34:38.550 --> 00:34:48.240
Yifat Cohn-Meir: And this is also very mum mum more memorable dave's not the exodus of the Jews, of course, the percentage of choosing the camp, which I was kept number one and our.
00:34:48.990 --> 00:34:55.860
Yifat Cohn-Meir: lesson template percent sometimes even 2% most other people now you're the exodus out of Auschwitz, and you see.
00:34:56.130 --> 00:35:04.170
Yifat Cohn-Meir: everybody's carrying something and then people ask with schools i've prayed for 20 years i've been moving about the schools or over you that.
00:35:04.440 --> 00:35:14.610
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Who was me I didn't think about this meat, and of course it's a little button on the bottom who squat no luggage and know blankets tied to that is me supposed to be.
00:35:14.970 --> 00:35:21.210
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Then very historically important also for me on the bottom, you see a real fire and it looks real.
00:35:21.690 --> 00:35:31.590
Yifat Cohn-Meir: And a block elder supervising it the end and evenings estimate stands by to see that all the documents of Auschwitz are being burned well I have.
00:35:32.340 --> 00:35:45.600
Yifat Cohn-Meir: drawn everything my things I alive and kicking everywhere, so that there was no burning the documents didn't happen here we get provisions for the long exodus, all the way to move on.
00:35:48.630 --> 00:35:55.290
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Okay, our from shorter this time I will describe briefly here, this is a scenario from the death March.
00:35:55.890 --> 00:36:04.500
Yifat Cohn-Meir: march in from Auschwitz to Lazlo the train station and then driven by train, so we see on top here the train open wagon.
00:36:05.130 --> 00:36:20.520
Yifat Cohn-Meir: We talking about January in Poland, freezing cold, many people that that part of just from the freezing and by March, we can see amazing scenarios of people hardly dragging themselves through the snow, with no.
00:36:21.630 --> 00:36:33.420
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Good shoes Thomas himself had two different shoes not fitting issues shoe size but they had to go through that and even though there were still helping each other, carrying each other.
00:36:33.900 --> 00:36:47.130
Yifat Cohn-Meir: And even Thomas describe as young as he was as weak as he was there was constantly people leaning and on his shoulders and he helped people around to do this very dangerous much the year the.
00:36:48.690 --> 00:37:01.320
Yifat Cohn-Meir: marching through the train to first station was gross rosen can very dangerous camp, he was just for shorter term few weeks and then again there were evacuated as the Germans was.
00:37:02.010 --> 00:37:12.570
Yifat Cohn-Meir: moving backwards to Germany, the prisoners were evacuated to the east sorry to the West arriving to book and buy that book and white count was already in Germany.
00:37:14.700 --> 00:37:24.330
Yifat Cohn-Meir: And it was different it was a camp was established in 37 or lots of political prisoners, they actually establish a very developed underground.
00:37:26.190 --> 00:37:26.580
00:37:28.530 --> 00:37:37.320
Yifat Cohn-Meir: One of the things that it was a camp police very unique to go hog wild and that was very helpful they helped each other more.
00:37:37.710 --> 00:37:54.300
Yifat Cohn-Meir: The garden they took care of prisoners, and especially the young one so young, what would taken care of very specially by the other prisoners and Thomas was saved few times by the underground all those stories of course in his testimony.
00:37:56.910 --> 00:37:59.490
Yifat Cohn-Meir: I let him speak for the liberation scenario.
00:38:01.260 --> 00:38:12.810
Yifat Cohn-Meir: And the other famous scene historic scenes liberation of portland wild and there are six different versions of the liberation and only one is true.
00:38:13.320 --> 00:38:18.750
Yifat Cohn-Meir: The moment the three American tanks on the left with the American flag very historically drawn.
00:38:19.200 --> 00:38:29.760
Yifat Cohn-Meir: They actually came on this side of the camp that's the main entrance of the camp, there was a revolt and we had 200 people with arms and restore the.
00:38:30.420 --> 00:38:42.660
Yifat Cohn-Meir: camper we drove the camp cars and my own theory of the liberation is completely different to official ones we had as you see, on top, we had captured one machine gun, and that was it.
00:38:43.140 --> 00:38:55.320
Yifat Cohn-Meir: For one year it was hidden under the floor, and when we started shooting with a machine gun I reckon that the gods thought the Americans are shooting inside the never figured out the.
00:38:56.220 --> 00:39:03.540
Yifat Cohn-Meir: prisons have a machine gun, so they thought the Americans have arrived inside the camp and most of them flat, that was a real.
00:39:03.930 --> 00:39:09.210
Yifat Cohn-Meir: story of the liberation, as you see, these men, here it is man with his arms up.
00:39:09.810 --> 00:39:19.350
Yifat Cohn-Meir: And another and also arms up he tried to hide himself, but putting blue prisoners of fluid, they said take off your jacket, and they is so uniform.
00:39:19.740 --> 00:39:34.170
Yifat Cohn-Meir: And some of it only had whips they didn't have all rifles and, as you see very accurately the rifle i'm very proud of you see the rifle is ain't exactly on to the man and he's shaking the rifle it's a very historic picture of the celebration of.
00:39:38.400 --> 00:39:38.700
00:39:42.690 --> 00:39:47.010
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Okay, so as we hear that was celebrated by.
00:39:48.960 --> 00:39:56.040
Yifat Cohn-Meir: By the prisoners underground and prisoners and just while short while, after the American soldiers arrived in.
00:39:57.060 --> 00:40:07.680
Yifat Cohn-Meir: shocked by what they see they were filming everything afterwards and the prisoner was showing them around later also civilians were brought in just to see the horrors of what happened in their.
00:40:10.020 --> 00:40:13.710
Yifat Cohn-Meir: trauma speak a bit more about the American friend, unfortunately we don't have time to hear the whole.
00:40:14.820 --> 00:40:15.720
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Testimony but.
00:40:17.100 --> 00:40:20.430
Yifat Cohn-Meir: He talks about the American arrival, of course, that was very.
00:40:21.870 --> 00:40:26.100
Yifat Cohn-Meir: amazing time being free again, for the first time, the media.
00:40:28.140 --> 00:40:30.930
Yifat Cohn-Meir: And the roll call at Thomas speak here, I think.
00:40:34.110 --> 00:40:37.530
And then, on the first of May, the big march past.
00:40:38.790 --> 00:40:46.290
And I was with a German, there was a German column executive submit some columns are very big and nations German called.
00:40:46.800 --> 00:40:58.230
I held up a post as much past the off here that he's got the flags of Britain and States and Russia was standing on adwords read on a judgment on it, we marched past.
00:40:58.530 --> 00:41:11.250
And then the camera was turned on me, and that was something very, very moving these photos got lost the camera all these films loss, but I was marching they're very proud first of May.
00:41:12.930 --> 00:41:15.840
Yifat Cohn-Meir: yeah So this was a scene of victory.
00:41:18.000 --> 00:41:23.040
Yifat Cohn-Meir: That is also there are official films of that scenario and tell us with there.
00:41:24.660 --> 00:41:25.770
Yifat Cohn-Meir: was one of the flags.
00:41:27.060 --> 00:41:42.150
Yifat Cohn-Meir: It took Thomas two months to recover here, we will see Thomas after liberation or before liberation by the underground put them in blocks the teenagers in one block 66.
00:41:42.630 --> 00:41:55.290
Yifat Cohn-Meir: he sees Thomas is not in this photo but we see other inmates about his age, so he was very one of these current his boys more or less he couldn't walk that stage is he was too weak and to.
00:41:55.770 --> 00:42:01.410
Yifat Cohn-Meir: wounded in his in his leg, so you can walk the only thing he could do was sitting is barrick.
00:42:02.310 --> 00:42:14.430
Yifat Cohn-Meir: He was moved to about 29 was German speakers and there, he was with other underground members that collected, one of them was Oregon Cohen, a very famous historian.
00:42:14.820 --> 00:42:23.970
Yifat Cohn-Meir: And with, together with the other underground they collected information from the SS officers and all that information was piled in one single table in the block.
00:42:24.420 --> 00:42:34.680
Yifat Cohn-Meir: And that allowed Thomas first of all to be exposed to lots of information and also he sat on the same table, and he did those drawings for two months April to June.
00:42:35.730 --> 00:42:44.730
Yifat Cohn-Meir: He was doing those drawings I go very briefly, so what happened after liberation, because it time is kind of finishing soon and.
00:42:46.020 --> 00:42:55.050
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Thomas has there was a project yeah That was a big question what to do with all the survivors, most of them did not have were to go back to some of the youngest.
00:42:55.380 --> 00:43:07.860
Yifat Cohn-Meir: we've not had found with orphans by that point, no families, no place to go back to, and it was a big question around Europe what to do with those youngsters and Thomas was choosing to.
00:43:09.210 --> 00:43:23.580
Yifat Cohn-Meir: join a project from Switzerland, there were about 400 boys and girls was sent to Switzerland for recovery and Thomas is one of them, he received trains of the teenagers just before being sent.
00:43:25.170 --> 00:43:26.910
Yifat Cohn-Meir: To almost arrive to Switzerland.
00:43:28.170 --> 00:43:28.770
Yifat Cohn-Meir: First.
00:43:30.240 --> 00:43:35.310
Yifat Cohn-Meir: yeah he arrived to Ryan for them for a quarantine where he gets really.
00:43:36.600 --> 00:43:55.080
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Ill again and his hospitalized for a while, after that he's moved to suka back to spot hundred and a bit of more than hundred and the boys and girls, and this is where Thomas story and charlie's in guilford story connects and few minutes woman's we're here, Charlie.
00:43:56.280 --> 00:44:19.260
Yifat Cohn-Meir: But this is a connection so good about how those two stories and together 74 years later, but here we see the boys of Zuckerberg and here we see to us is a second on top here on the right, Thomas is 15 liberation and he's in Switzerland and by his 16th birthday.
00:44:20.520 --> 00:44:35.760
Yifat Cohn-Meir: In October 45 the Red Cross help Thomas and his father find each other at that point, I know they don't know what's going on what's happened with his mother, but they find each other and the 19th of November 45 thomas's flight.
00:44:36.780 --> 00:44:43.230
Yifat Cohn-Meir: is joining his father in London in England and he becomes an English citizen.
00:44:44.580 --> 00:44:48.570
Yifat Cohn-Meir: And at that point they understand that his mother did not survive the camps.
00:44:49.620 --> 00:45:03.570
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Thomas join his father that his father Eric after those long years of separation, the unite Thomas is a finishing his studies, he becomes an income building engineer.
00:45:04.740 --> 00:45:13.740
Yifat Cohn-Meir: From the bricklaying school in Auschwitz he become being an engineer, and then in the age of 20 surprise of his life.
00:45:14.310 --> 00:45:34.890
Yifat Cohn-Meir: His father's remarried and Thomas becomes an older brother to his younger sister Judith and at that point he made a huge decision decision, and he decided to immigrate to Israel and be part of building the Jewish state and as an engineer he comes to Israel 9050.
00:45:35.970 --> 00:45:53.340
Yifat Cohn-Meir: His start to work in the Jewish agency helps to build Israel building whole houses and buildings all around Israel a very, very young stayed at that age at that stage, he joined the army as an officer and engineering officer and the engineering unit.
00:45:55.140 --> 00:46:07.980
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Fighting all the wars of Israel and getting married having three children nine well children and urine bit of ago these first great great granddaughter.
00:46:09.270 --> 00:46:16.020
Yifat Cohn-Meir: And so, become a great grandfather and his grandfather and father very pro one and the brother here the sister duties.
00:46:17.640 --> 00:46:18.000
Yifat Cohn-Meir: At.
00:46:19.140 --> 00:46:31.380
Yifat Cohn-Meir: The Thomas story was published in 58 for the first time as a pocketbook self and each one was a time his life change because there was a unit you.
00:46:32.310 --> 00:46:43.800
Yifat Cohn-Meir: A gathering of survivors he found one of his friends on the cam and that point he decided to be an active witness he republished his testimony at.
00:46:44.460 --> 00:46:53.490
Yifat Cohn-Meir: five and seven again and then was an album of his books are still available in both involved in a film about his love his doctor in the morning.
00:46:54.420 --> 00:47:05.910
Yifat Cohn-Meir: documentary about his story very unique one, and that is started to be an active witness for over 20 years you went around Europe talking to audiences.
00:47:07.140 --> 00:47:20.160
Yifat Cohn-Meir: And just later on that 1916 was the last journey and then he he decided not to travel anymore, but he got to speak to audiences in his reading admission nowadays in zoom.
00:47:22.170 --> 00:47:28.050
Yifat Cohn-Meir: And here, where the story connected Charlie Charlie will let you speak in a moment.
00:47:29.520 --> 00:47:30.060
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Charlie.
00:47:31.530 --> 00:47:45.930
Yifat Cohn-Meir: heard of a story, and he thought i'd been so many years since the testing one it was out and thanks to his enthusiasm and and will Thomas stories out again to the world in the new version in the new.
00:47:47.520 --> 00:47:53.880
Yifat Cohn-Meir: edition last year in the UK, for the first time in summer in the US.
00:47:54.990 --> 00:47:58.500
Yifat Cohn-Meir: And now, this last January 2 edition.
00:47:59.550 --> 00:48:00.030
00:48:01.110 --> 00:48:05.370
Yifat Cohn-Meir: In England again already translated to various languages.
00:48:07.050 --> 00:48:13.050
Yifat Cohn-Meir: and getting to new audiences, which we are very happy to see and.
00:48:14.310 --> 00:48:18.780
Yifat Cohn-Meir: I just mentioned here, if anyone wants to connect arms asking questions.
00:48:19.890 --> 00:48:23.010
Yifat Cohn-Meir: we're happy to do that that's his email Thomas gene.
00:48:24.030 --> 00:48:37.140
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Gene and.com and the website is rebuild now so it's going to be renewed soon, but it's not on zoom.com last words Thomas fee, and then we see you Charlie Thank you for listening.
00:48:39.720 --> 00:48:43.110
People ask me if i'm happy about my new book.
00:48:44.250 --> 00:49:00.000
Well there's nothing happy about the past, but it is good that the 40 prisoners who helped me to survive two years of concentration camps all become alive again all over the world.
00:49:06.420 --> 00:49:09.030
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Thank you so much, Charlie your turn.
00:49:10.980 --> 00:49:20.070
Charlie Inglefield: Thank you very much, that was a wonderful presentation and I just wanted to say a very quick Thank you to Sydney and the team at the Museum of Jewish heritage in New York.
00:49:20.430 --> 00:49:27.570
Charlie Inglefield: for giving us this opportunity to talk today to talk about the book we're very grateful and very honored i'm just going to spend a few minutes, really.
00:49:28.110 --> 00:49:38.370
Charlie Inglefield: Talking about the book behind the book The actual process of putting a book like this together, and I guess I split it into three parts, the first part is how did the book come about.
00:49:38.970 --> 00:49:51.930
Charlie Inglefield: The second part is the strategy, the direction of the book and three I guess is the learnings and the objectives of what we hope the reader takes from reading a book like this, so to get things started.
00:49:53.220 --> 00:50:01.560
Charlie Inglefield: The book really came about through the most random of circumstances my family and I we lived in zoo little expert town outside of Zurich.
00:50:03.090 --> 00:50:07.320
Charlie Inglefield: In March 2019 I had a friend of mine natalie Albrecht to.
00:50:07.740 --> 00:50:13.290
Charlie Inglefield: told me about an exhibition that was taking place at the burgh museum and zoo called the children of book involved in one of the photos.
00:50:13.500 --> 00:50:19.770
Charlie Inglefield: That showed on one of our last slides, I think it was the top left hand corner was actually the the main photograph on on the.
00:50:20.160 --> 00:50:31.740
Charlie Inglefield: On the flyer and natalie handed me this flyer is where I first saw the name Thomas jeev and, like most of us do when something Piques our interest we go on to google.com we put the name in.
00:50:32.340 --> 00:50:42.570
Charlie Inglefield: I put thomas's name in and that's when I first saw some of his amazing drawings, which really hit me the simplicity of the powerful images that he drew.
00:50:43.680 --> 00:50:50.880
Charlie Inglefield: And I also saw Thomas chief calm and I wrote an email to Thomas g.com very, very soon afterwards.
00:50:51.300 --> 00:51:08.460
Charlie Inglefield: And yeah fat and I think we're We talked very, very soon afterwards, and I was like a sponge To be honest, in other words, I just sort of listened and was fascinated about thomas's life, not just his life as a boy, and not just his experiences about the Holocaust, but his life after.
00:51:09.720 --> 00:51:23.580
Charlie Inglefield: All of those horrendous events took place and the effort and I talked about the fact that two of his books obviously came out one was in 1958 youth and changes here fat mentioned also guns and barbed wire 1987.
00:51:24.630 --> 00:51:35.370
Charlie Inglefield: So it's been a been a long time since audiences, we read read his experiences, and I think that was what really inspired me and your fat to say well let's bring it to today's audiences.
00:51:36.180 --> 00:51:48.090
Charlie Inglefield: I was on a plane to Israel in July 2019 I spent a wonderful week with your fat with her family, as well as with Thomas, it was quite daunting and I should add, in here that.
00:51:49.080 --> 00:51:56.370
Charlie Inglefield: At the time I wasn't an author i'm surfing on an expert i'm not a historian i'm not Jewish either I was just a fan of.
00:51:57.480 --> 00:52:07.350
Charlie Inglefield: thomas's story, I felt inspired reading his second book guns and barbed wire and your fat and I basically said well let's go for it let's see whether we can take it to today's audiences.
00:52:08.520 --> 00:52:21.810
Charlie Inglefield: So that that, in a nutshell, was the sort of first stage to this, you know the book behind the book and the second was obviously, how do we go about this, the strategy, the direction on putting a book together like this.
00:52:23.460 --> 00:52:39.810
Charlie Inglefield: And, to be perfectly honest, as simplistic as it sounds, it was to actually have a direction, and I was incredibly lucky in the fact that we had the content, the content from guns and barbed wire was was an amazing story to read, we had a selection thomas's drawings as well.
00:52:41.400 --> 00:52:42.810
Charlie Inglefield: So it was really about.
00:52:44.160 --> 00:52:50.700
Charlie Inglefield: Updating thomas's testimony as part of this third edition, as the book, we know now, which is the boy who drew outfits.
00:52:51.030 --> 00:52:59.640
Charlie Inglefield: And I guess from, from my perspective, one of the key was was to provide a flow to the reader and allow the reader to digest to hopefully discover.
00:52:59.910 --> 00:53:13.320
Charlie Inglefield: To take a bit of a pause as well, because there are so many extraordinary stories and events that Thomas goes through, and therefore one of the first points to to the strategy was to provide a few more chapters, just to allow the reader to have that flow.
00:53:14.520 --> 00:53:15.360
Charlie Inglefield: The second.
00:53:16.410 --> 00:53:26.700
Charlie Inglefield: Key a My guess was to provide more references more footnotes so both visual as well as text references and footnotes because Thomas mentions.
00:53:27.540 --> 00:53:45.870
Charlie Inglefield: You know, places names people he was acquaintances with dates as well just to hopefully help the reader along as they as they read the story, and I would also add, in that we wanted to add in some photographs as well because, particularly when book involved was liberated.
00:53:46.920 --> 00:53:54.360
Charlie Inglefield: Hopefully, it was a way for the reader to obviously go through thomas's story, but have a few reference points as well, and some of the photographs was.
00:53:55.440 --> 00:53:57.480
Charlie Inglefield: were put in for that for that point.
00:53:58.680 --> 00:54:05.640
Charlie Inglefield: So I guess I finish it in terms of the learnings and objectives, and I look at this from a personal perspective as well.
00:54:06.480 --> 00:54:21.000
Charlie Inglefield: You know, here we are nearly three years on, and I still get Shivers listening to thomas's voice I hope your faith and Thomas don't mind me saying this, but you know, Thomas is amount of detail, he doesn't suffer fools gladly.
00:54:22.200 --> 00:54:28.500
Charlie Inglefield: It was quite a daunting experience working with with Thomas right at the beginning, but he made me feel very much at ease.
00:54:29.910 --> 00:54:42.180
Charlie Inglefield: And it was obviously a huge huge privilege I don't think you're fat and I stopped learning to be perfectly honest, when we do talk that there seems to be new bits of information coming to light.
00:54:43.590 --> 00:54:49.680
Charlie Inglefield: One of the key learnings I take was towards the beginning of the process of putting this book together.
00:54:50.640 --> 00:54:59.640
Charlie Inglefield: Thomas often talked about creatures wild animals in terms of describing or descriptions expressions and meanings and.
00:55:00.120 --> 00:55:07.950
Charlie Inglefield: At the beginning, I didn't really understand what these descriptions meant, and therefore I thought well if it doesn't make a huge amount of sense to me, should we include it.
00:55:08.520 --> 00:55:18.060
Charlie Inglefield: Whereas actually learning through the process and learning more about Thomas and what he went through if you change descriptions, or if you'd changes meanings.
00:55:18.510 --> 00:55:31.860
Charlie Inglefield: you're changing what he wants to describe at the time as a boy and and that goes absolutely against you know what we should be learning from a survivor like Thomas, so there are so many learnings I could mention, but I will only only mentioned that one.
00:55:32.970 --> 00:55:42.780
Charlie Inglefield: The objective behind the book look what what I hope and I know what the family hopes is whilst we have survivors like Thomas with us.
00:55:44.340 --> 00:55:54.330
Charlie Inglefield: They remain the last human link to this infamous piece of history, this period of history and I guess the aim behind doing this update updated.
00:55:54.930 --> 00:56:01.680
Charlie Inglefield: version of thomas's testimony is to ensure all generations it's not just future generations is all generations.
00:56:02.130 --> 00:56:14.790
Charlie Inglefield: That this event never happens again and we have thomas's voice and thomas's experiences to hopefully help in that process, and I say this rather, sadly, because obviously what the tragic events happening in Ukraine at the moment.
00:56:15.900 --> 00:56:25.200
Charlie Inglefield: So I hope that just gives you a little bit about the book behind the book The process of putting a book like this together, and thank you very much for listening in.
00:56:27.570 --> 00:56:29.880
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): Thank you so much, Charlie and you thought and.
00:56:30.060 --> 00:56:31.950
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): Before we move into audience Q.
00:56:31.950 --> 00:56:40.650
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): amp a and I had the opportunity to talk to Thomas with he thought and I recorded a couple or you thought.
00:56:41.370 --> 00:56:49.020
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): Rather recorded a few of his answers so i'm only going to play two right now, before we move into sort of the live Q amp a but.
00:56:49.530 --> 00:57:02.370
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): I think this will also answer some of the questions that have been coming through throughout the program so this first slide is really about what happened to Thomas his friends, he fought mentioned that he had made.
00:57:03.570 --> 00:57:09.540
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): You know uh he was with a group of other children in the camp, so I asked him what happened.
00:57:12.300 --> 00:57:12.510
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): Oh.
00:57:15.060 --> 00:57:15.960
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): Can you hear that.
00:57:17.970 --> 00:57:19.140
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): nope okay.
00:57:21.000 --> 00:57:23.190
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): hold on I think I forgot to share my sound.
00:57:25.080 --> 00:57:26.670
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): There we go okay.
00:57:28.260 --> 00:57:28.920
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): let's try that again.
00:57:34.200 --> 00:57:36.270
He went to live in New York.
00:57:40.980 --> 00:57:45.300
Live I don't know if he's still alive, but he went to live in New York.
00:57:47.670 --> 00:57:53.880
who went to live in Australia and there's little bear went back to Belgium.
00:57:54.930 --> 00:57:55.260
00:57:57.030 --> 00:58:00.450
Three of them and run to the top.
00:58:01.530 --> 00:58:10.680
He contacted his wife and unfortunately died in the House of camp, just before the race.
00:58:13.140 --> 00:58:17.880
And now, where did I get the information, not for my parents.
00:58:19.560 --> 00:58:25.470
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): My parents, was it was my grandmother, so I read the newspapers and also.
00:58:26.550 --> 00:58:27.030
00:58:30.150 --> 00:58:41.220
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): So then, this next question that i'm going to share is um you know I had asked Thomas a little bit about we kind of got into the history of the book.
00:58:41.940 --> 00:58:56.610
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): from his perspective and he also kind of talked about how the drawings were stored, which is another question that was coming through throughout the program So here we go excellent pictures are true for my father need to inform them.
00:58:58.320 --> 00:59:08.520
Charlie Inglefield: That was where the pictures came in and, of course, is technically speaking, they couldn't be published, for many, many years because, as I said, the publishers in London for.
00:59:09.750 --> 00:59:24.000
Your sonny boy is not a picasa we cannot create those pictures, you know, have the money it costs for for many years in Europe, he couldn't predict color picture, so I had to write it down, and of course the first book.
00:59:25.080 --> 00:59:36.750
came out what picture shows, and I use the pictures to write the book, yes, and of course of several the pair present version of the book is already human version number six.
00:59:38.100 --> 00:59:38.970
To finish worse.
00:59:40.530 --> 00:59:43.680
book has been alive all the time.
00:59:45.480 --> 00:59:59.400
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): Okay, so now i'm going to move into some of the questions that you have asked to and Charlie so you thought how old were you when you first learned about these drawings and about what had happened to Thomas.
01:00:00.510 --> 01:00:09.330
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Thomas testimony was originally written in English, and when we were younger he did not talk about when he separated his his.
01:00:10.140 --> 01:00:29.640
Yifat Cohn-Meir: personal life to his from present life from from past life so he did not speak about his testimony there was a book and when you have the book, but I, my English was not good enough to read such a book, when I was younger and only when I was 21 I took the book with the dictionary.
01:00:30.660 --> 01:00:46.650
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Word the word and struggled to go to read through it, but more or less got the story, but there's Charlie mentioned up to this day, when I read the testimony every time I come to new information so later on just just.
01:00:47.550 --> 01:00:56.940
Yifat Cohn-Meir: The last decade, I became more as a partner to my father, it was willing to share his testimony with me and I came, you know his.
01:00:58.320 --> 01:01:10.860
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Is my role now to carry the testimony one seat he already wants to retire, and so I can I keep on studying and and interviewing him about things and keep on.
01:01:10.890 --> 01:01:13.560
Yifat Cohn-Meir: getting more information so it's kind of alive.
01:01:13.920 --> 01:01:26.040
Yifat Cohn-Meir: testimonies keep on changing and more and more information comes up, so I guess also the books would with yours, we we hope to add more and more information, as we gather it as well.
01:01:27.510 --> 01:01:41.370
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): Thank you, and I think this is a question for both Charlie any five, but do you think that this is a book that is appropriate for students to read it, and do you hope that this is something that will be used in schools, going forward.
01:01:42.720 --> 01:01:47.400
Charlie Inglefield: yeah i'm happy to take the first part to this yeah it's a good question.
01:01:48.540 --> 01:02:01.770
Charlie Inglefield: i've been asked this question a number of times over the last few weeks, look through from my personal perspective, I feel this book is probably appropriate from the ages of 13 and above.
01:02:03.120 --> 01:02:03.780
Charlie Inglefield: I think.
01:02:05.760 --> 01:02:13.230
Charlie Inglefield: children younger than that it's still quite a while it's a very powerful book, it is traumatic in some ways.
01:02:14.670 --> 01:02:24.270
Charlie Inglefield: and obviously when you're talking about maturity and the right time to listen and learn from this kind of event, then, from a personal perspective voting 13 and above.
01:02:25.980 --> 01:02:32.280
Yifat Cohn-Meir: yeah and I would add that, as a group, every word of Charlie and I will add that this testimony.
01:02:33.750 --> 01:02:45.120
Yifat Cohn-Meir: into all ages, I mean from teenagers and above and it's unique because of the teenagers I so teenagers can relate to this story.
01:02:45.510 --> 01:02:55.950
Yifat Cohn-Meir: And also, it brings up out very much of the difference, how the teenagers related to what's going on around them not just live in Camp also before and after.
01:02:56.400 --> 01:03:06.600
Yifat Cohn-Meir: and Thomas lots of conversation with with his inmates, and so you can see different way of thinking and the different laps way of thinking and the teenagers.
01:03:07.080 --> 01:03:27.120
Yifat Cohn-Meir: And also because of the joints, of course, that makes it more you know the language of the drawings relate to any age, I did testimony for very young ages just using certain like the food and the daily life, comparing to the nowadays live ABC, for instance.
01:03:28.380 --> 01:03:39.720
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Not educated, it was recommended by Ministry of Education in some countries in Europe already and it's just getting to know and again, so we hope that we do aim for education, of course.
01:03:40.440 --> 01:03:46.110
Yifat Cohn-Meir: educating the young generation makes difference because it affect their lives, nowadays, and the meaningful.
01:03:46.800 --> 01:03:55.050
Yifat Cohn-Meir: messages of this testimony it's not just about the past is very relevant to nowadays it's not just about the Holocaust about.
01:03:55.410 --> 01:04:09.240
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Human beings about human relations about coping with trauma coping with events in your life so that's very relevant values to nowadays, so we hope to into the younger generation is, of course, yes.
01:04:10.380 --> 01:04:15.240
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): i'm sorry no we're a bit over time, but if I know you have one final.
01:04:16.950 --> 01:04:24.690
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): Testimony from Thomas to share with us just about what he hopes we all get out of the book and his message.
01:04:25.290 --> 01:04:31.050
Yifat Cohn-Meir: yeah so that's very short message from Thomas, I will share the screen again.
01:04:37.950 --> 01:04:38.580
01:04:50.670 --> 01:05:22.500
Dear listeners in April 1945 when I was liberated from the camp who invited at the age of 15 I decided to document what I saw and experience to choose two years, together with my friends at the camps of Auschwitz go slower and born in the set of over at drawing this and maps.
01:05:23.550 --> 01:05:36.180
Two years later I started also to write from the years of 90 I am active is returns and tell about the past.
01:05:38.220 --> 01:05:50.040
i'm asked why I did this, I chose to record in 10 about the US, because it is important for me that's also knows that.
01:05:51.750 --> 01:05:58.440
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): brand or there could learn about the past and know exactly what happened.
01:05:59.700 --> 01:06:01.920
to remember the past as.
01:06:18.690 --> 01:06:23.340
Yifat Cohn-Meir: as well, to thank Sydney and the museum for this opportunity.
01:06:24.720 --> 01:06:31.230
Yifat Cohn-Meir: You know very honored and thank you for sharing Thank you Charlie again for being our.
01:06:32.970 --> 01:06:41.160
Yifat Cohn-Meir: You know, we call the Guardian angel but really for bringing this testimony out to the world, again, we want to thank harper Collins for taking this book on.
01:06:41.940 --> 01:06:47.850
Yifat Cohn-Meir: To new audiences and all our partners around the translators at been translating the book all the.
01:06:48.360 --> 01:06:57.390
Yifat Cohn-Meir: editors all the teams around the world that help to bring out this testimony we want it's an opportunity to thank everyone, and all the people who support.
01:06:57.870 --> 01:07:06.660
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Thomas from his first day our incomes after life after camps, all the years through all his friends around the world.
01:07:07.140 --> 01:07:20.220
Yifat Cohn-Meir: and supported him and each one in his way and I think the main tones wrote a message here is just to remember and life matters as people matter.
01:07:20.820 --> 01:07:28.230
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Every person can make a difference for good and for bad and by we can the history was done by people.
01:07:28.710 --> 01:07:41.400
Yifat Cohn-Meir: And nowadays when the future is our decision nowadays and there's tournaments that we see that now live around us around the world and the power of unity.
01:07:42.120 --> 01:07:51.330
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Is endless and we can defeat any darkness through bringing light together, and I think that's the main message of all Holocaust survivor.
01:07:51.630 --> 01:08:03.000
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Let us, we are it's our responsibility as next generation to make sure that the sacrifice and whatever happened the green past would not be for vain.
01:08:03.420 --> 01:08:11.370
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Because if we learn from that past and we make a different for a better future than the past, we make the past neta and.
01:08:11.850 --> 01:08:16.260
Yifat Cohn-Meir: meaningful to the rest of our lives and directives and information to our children and grandchildren.
01:08:16.830 --> 01:08:25.020
Yifat Cohn-Meir: So we hope this word will be impacted where they're kind of where that's Thomas words you hope for a better word than a kind of what everyone.
01:08:25.440 --> 01:08:38.730
Yifat Cohn-Meir: Everywhere it's up to us, so we wish the word peaceful time to every person around this word that is not free so freedom and peace to everyone Thank you so much for being here.
01:08:40.980 --> 01:08:46.530
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): Thank you so much you fight, and thank you to Charlie as well, this was such an amazing presentation and.
01:08:47.130 --> 01:08:58.590
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): I know it's been really meaningful to a lot of people I we've been getting some really great comments in the chat and I would like to thank all of you out there and in the Internet for joining us today.
01:08:59.190 --> 01:09:08.760
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): And I would also really like to thank Thomas as well, for all of his contributions to today's presentation and for his testimony and his book.
01:09:10.140 --> 01:09:13.830
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): Everything we do at the museum is made possible through donor support.
01:09:14.220 --> 01:09:22.110
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): To those of you watching the hope you'll consider making a donation to support museum or becoming a member and joining us for upcoming programs so she can check out.
01:09:22.470 --> 01:09:36.660
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): At the link in the zoom chat also please go out and buy the boy who drew our shirts, which you can also find the link and zoom chat have a great afternoon, and we hope to see you all again in another program, thank you for joining us.
01:09:37.050 --> 01:09:38.340
Yifat Cohn-Meir: bye much.
01:09:38.370 --> 01:09:40.170
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): Thank you everyone bye.
Explore Works of Art About Auschwitz
Alfred Kantor (1923–2003) arrived at the Terezin Ghetto in December 1941 following his deportation from Prague, Czechoslovakia. Although the German occupation of Bohemia and Moravia ended his education at the Rotter School of Advertising Art, he continued to draw while in the Ghetto. The Nazis deported Kantor from Terezin to Auschwitz in 1943, and while there he memorized scenes during the day and drew them in his barrack at night. Learn more about Kantor’s drawings of Auschwitz in this Museum blog post.
Hear From Other German Holocaust Survivors
Jill Pauly was born Gisella Berg on May 1, 1933 in Cologne, Germany to a close, religious Jewish family. Due to the restrictions put in place by the Nazis shortly before she was born, Jill was unable to play outside with other children, and found herself in a life of displacement. Eventually her family found refuge in Kenya, where they worked on farms and navigated British East African policies. Learn more about Jill’s story in this Stories Survive program.
Examine Works from Boris Lurie: Nothing To Do But To Try
The exhibition Boris Lurie: Nothing To Do But To Try presents a portrait of an artist reckoning with devastating trauma, haunting memories, and an elusive, lifelong quest for freedom. This Museum blog post examines one of the portraits on view in the exhibition, “Portrait of My Mother Before Shooting.”